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ESSA Around the Nation

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) returns decision making for…

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OEA members pledge to protect rights of our LGBTQ students

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2017 Legislative Engagement Training and Lobby Day

Feb. 20, 2017

With major political shifts on the horizon for public education,…

Retirement Security

Retirement in Reach

A secure retirement is out of reach for more and more Oregonians.

The Great Recession, the housing crash and bad corporate actors like Enron have taken a toll on retirement savings and employee pensions, causing many Oregonians to delay retirement. It’s all too common to hear people say, “I’ll have to work until I die.”

Today, most Oregon retirees rely on Social Security for a large percentage of their income. The bottom 25 percent of income earners rely on Social Security for 85 percent of their income and the middle 50 percent rely on it for nearly 72 percent of their income.*

We can—and must—find solutions that serve Oregonians and protect state resources.

Just as Oregon led the charge in addressing problems in our healthcare system, we need to tackle the challenge of creating retirement security for all working Oregonians.


The Future of PERS

Due to Wall Street misdeeds that led to the 2008 economic crisis, all public and private pensions for millions of Americans have suffered significantly. As a result, here in Oregon, we are faced with having to clean up the mess made by bad-behaving investment banks and others who abused our financial system.

Oregonians who have worked hard and played by the rules their whole life should not have to retire into poverty and then have to rely on taxpayer-funded services for the care they need. After decades in the workforce and contributing directly to the health of the community, we owe our seniors nothing less.

Any policy change to PERS must meet three criteria:

  • It has to save actual money in the short term while still maintaining the health and affordability of the system in the long run.
  • It has to be constitutional. We can’t go back on the promises made to Oregonians who have worked hard their whole life. It’s wrong and it will end up costing us millions in litigation.
  • It has to be fair. We can’t create a system of winners and losers. And we can’t unjustly punish working and middle class families for a problem that Wall Street created.